A Son's Obsession
When I think about moving to Lincoln,
on the day I turn twenty-nine. I’m scared
to my bones. A foreboding that whips my teeth
and keeps my feet frozen to the warm floor
of my farewell-saying bungalow.
The walls speak back at voices, at the wrought
of the last twelve months—peeling like snake’s skin.
I wreath my melancholy and hang it
on the door I’ll leave behind. Kneeling near
the window of my room, I decide
against watching the moon, as it voyaged
in the sky, swells its face on window-glass.
Instead, I was up, looking at houses
on craigslist, furniture and things my new life
deemed necessary while trying to fit
into a budget. Close to my heart—
mingled with guilt— how hard
pruning Rayh from the meadow of family,
into an apartment that echoes of their absence.
But he looks forward to the journey,
animated about snowballs,
about a storybook that lays
Lincoln in his mind—Snow White. Every morning,
he pulls it from his mom’s dresser,
glances keenly— as if there’s something
that a misplaced step could spill within—Snow,
Mammi, will I see snow? The white wolf,
as distant as it is, has shaken me to my bones
before its arrival. But my son appears
excited, ready to make a plaything.
Saddiq Dzukogi is the author of Inside the Flower Room, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series. His recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Poetry Society of America, Gulf Coast, African American Review, Crab Orchard Review, Prairie Schooner, and Verse Daily. He is a PhD student in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.